Purple Asparagus Salad

Last week I had the opportunity to visit Smucker Farms of Lancaster County on 14th Street. This fabulous little store carries an array of artisan products from Southeast Pennsylvania. They also carry fresh produce. At the end of my visit, I left with a box of goodies which included these beautiful purple asparagus. They are a bit smaller, but with a sweeter and fruity flavor. They were so very fresh, crisp, and tender that I wanted to use them raw. This will also work with very fresh green asparagus.

Raw Purple Asparagus Salad
• 1 bunch of purple asparagus
• ¼ cup pickled Spring garlic, drained (recipe below)
• Hazelnut vinaigrette (recipe below)
• 1 boiled egg, finely cubed
• 2 tablespoons crumbled queso fresco (or crumbled goat cheese)
• 2 tablespoons toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1. Thinly slice the asparagus stalks on the diagonal. You can use a knife or a mandolin. Leave the tops intact and cut in half lengthwise for garnish.
2. Mix the pickled spring garlic, and sliced asparagus stalks. Dress with a few tablespoons of hazelnut vinaigrette. Plate the salad, and sprinkle with the egg, queso fresco, and toasted hazelnuts. Garnish with the asparagus tops.

Hazelnut Vinaigrette
(Adapted from Diabetes Forecast)
• 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 ½ tablespoons honey
• 2 teaspoons coarse grained mustard
• 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• 1 garlic clove, finely minced
• 1/3 cup hazelnut oil
• salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Add all ingredients to a small bowl and whisk until emulsified.

Pickled Spring Garlic
• 2 stalks of spring garlic, thinly sliced
• 1 cup white vinegar
• 1 teaspoon scotch bonnet hot sauce, or to taste ( I like to add 2 teaspoons)
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1. Combine all ingredients in a glass container. Let sit at room temperature for one to four hours. Refrigerate any leftovers, and use within two days.

5 thoughts on “Purple Asparagus Salad

  1. Ha, now this is pretty eerie.. I happened to go to a market in Cannes, in the South of France, yesterday and discovered these purple asparagus for the first time in my life. Chatted to the stall holder and he said they were typical to the Cannes region (but originally from Italy) – and now you cook with them in Pennsylvania! How funny! I’m going to have to tell that guy that he may be slightly mistaken… :-)

  2. Oh, I think my comment just disappeared :-( Anyway, just wanted to say I’m pretty astonished to see you have purple asparagus in Pennsylvania – I just bought some in the South of France yesterday. They’re lovely!

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